MUNICH – The German Ice Hockey Association (DEB) elected Erich Kühnhackl as their new vice-president during a meeting of the executive committee this week.
Kühnhackl takes over for Uwe Harnos who was named president, following the resignation of Hans-Ulrich Esken in July. Kühnhackl, who turns 58 on Friday, will be responsible for the sport administration within the DEB executive committee.
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1950, Kühnhackl’s family moved to Bavaria in 1968. He became the one of the top players of all-time for EV Landshut and a legend on the German national team with 131 goals in 211 games. The numbers rank him as the top goal scorer in national team history. He played in ten World Championships and three Olympics, including bronze-medal team at the 1976 Games. He was the scoring leader at the 1978 Worlds and the 1984 Olympics, and an eight-time top scorer of Germany’s professional league.
After retiring 1989, he worked for the DEB, coaching several national teams until 1998. In 2001, he started his foundation for youth hockey. Kühnhackl was introduced into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997 and elected Germany’s hockey player of the century in 2000.
“Kühnhackl not only brings the necessary hockey know-how, he has also always stood out because of his strong commitment,” said DEB General Secretary Franz Reindl, who was also Kühnhackl’s teammate at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck. “I’m sure he is the right man for this position. We have made an important step for our organization, especially with regard to the 2010 IIHF World Championship in our country.”
“I was in contact with the DEB for a while and we talked about the vice-presidency,” Kühnhackl said after his appointment. “I’m sure that the 2010 World Championship will have a positive effect on our sport the same way as in football and handball in the recent years. It’s a great honour for me to take office and I hope to contribute to German hockey.”